Monday, July 16, 2012

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain...

You all remember that scene from the Wizard of Oz, don't you?  It's when Dorothy and her crew discover that the Wizard is nothing more than an ordinary man operating a machine from behind a curtain...

There are those who say that that is precisely what's going on in the City of Miami, if you buy into this theory, the elected officials are nothing more than pawns that are controlled by powerful lobbyists and influence peddlers.  Some say that one of the most powerful men "behind the curtain" in the current Regalado regime is a fellow named Armando Gutierrez, our friend Al Crespo goes so far to call him the "phantom mayor".  From Al's website...

"Armando Gutierrez, bon vivant, uber-lobbyist, campaign manager to Tomas Regalado, and considered by many to be the Phantom Mayor of Miami.
Since becoming Mayor, Gutierrez has seldom been far from Regalado’s side - as evidenced by the above photo where he is getting out of the Mayor’s SUV..."

Whatever the case may be, there's no denying that Mr. Gutierrez has some level of influence within the City of Miami and there's no doubt he's definitely part of Mayor Tomas Regalado's inner circle.  Mr Gutierrez is also known as the go to guy in Miami if you're looking to get elected for any kind of position, be it city, county or state wide, some elected officials have even gone so far as to say that in order to run any successful campaign, Mr. Gutierrez and his cadre of associates and their respective companies have to be on your payroll.

So what's this got to do with anything?  Why are we restating the obvious again?  While I really don't buy into this "phantom mayor" theory, I can't discount the influence Mr. Gutierrez has within the City of Miami, especially in all Regalado related matters.  One of the most contentious issues of Mayor Regalado's tenure to date has been the ongoing war between his former police chief, Miguel Exposito and his administration over the alleged illegal gaming machines that are littered throughout the city which ultimately ended with the police chief being fired.  Now, if you buy into the theory that Mr. Gutierrez is the "phantom mayor" of the City of Miami, an enemy of the mayor by default is an enemy of Mr. Gutierrez, correct?  

Take a step back for a moment and revisit that three judge panel that heard and ultimately ruled against ex Chief of Police Miguel Exposito's appeal to get his job back a few weeks ago.  While I sharply criticized one of the judges for her less than stellar record on the bench and was about to write another diatribe about the other two judges on that panel, let's put all that aside for the time being.  For the moment, let's operate under the theory that Mr. Gutierrez is indeed the "phantom mayor" and is "the man behind the curtain" that's running the city.  During the weeks before former police chief Miguel Exposito's appeal was to be heard, there were some strange scheduling conflicts going on, the hearing kept getting bounced back between courthouses and judges until we ended up with the hearing taking place at the Justice Building before judges Hirsch, Manno-Schurr and Lindsey.  What's the big deal, three random judges to hear an appeal, right?  Remember, we're operating under the phantom mayor & influence peddler theory here, a quick glance at the campaign finance records of two of the three judges presents an interesting clue as to what may have gone on at this hearing...

Well spank my ass and call me Charlie!  Two of the three judges that heard the Exposito appeal employed Mr. Gutierrez as a "consultant" during their campaigns for circuit court judge!  As you can see in the bits outlined in red, both Valerie Manno-Schurr and Milton Hirsch paid Mr Gutierrez and his companies $15,000 each.  

Now, if you believe that Mr. Gutierrez is as powerful as people say he is, is it too far fetched to believe that the judges returned a favor to Mr. Gutierrez and his associates in the city by ruling against Exposito?  Nah, that shits crazy, nobody would believe anything as outrageous as that!  There's no way a sitting judge would sell their soul and return a favor to a man that allegedly helped them get their seat on the bench, right?  that would never happen, especially in a place like Miami...


  1. Dude Exposito was THE worst chief in modern memory...........cut from the same mold as that moron Harms

  2. Worst Chief based on what? Even if you didn't like Exposito's work as Chief, does that mean its ok for corruption to run rampant in City Hall? It's an attitude like yours sir that not only allows behavior like this to continue, but also will keep the corrupt in power. Please stay away from your keyboard.

  3. ou must be aware that the Police Chief is a puppet position. The strings to make the chief move are pulled from City Hall.End of story